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Posts Tagged ‘News & Events’

Florida Attorney: State Making Progress, But Reports Say Still Much To Do on Child Abuse & Representation

Two national reports failed the state of Florida with regard to preventing child abuse in the child welfare system, and they highlight the need for representation of children in the system.

Although Florida is making process in its child welfare system, the two reports still point out we have a long way to go.

“… the issue of providing more attorneys for children is being discussed statewide,” writes the Daytona Beach News-Journal. “The Florida Bar has a committee working on legislation for the upcoming session seeking more attorneys for foster children with special needs, such as the disabled, older teens and children being prescribed psychotropic drugs.”

“It only makes sense that Florida join the other 40 states that give these kids their own lawyer, ” Howard Talenfeld, chair of The Florida Bar committee, told the News-Journal.

Click on the following links to read Howard Talenfeld’s letters on the issue in the Miami Herald and South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Florida’s Adoption Program Earns National Respect, Awarded $10 Million

September 18th, 2009   No Comments   Funding, Psychotropic

We at Florida Child Advocate.com congratulate Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon and former Secretary Robert Butterworth for initiating an effort that recognizes that every child, regardless of age or disability, is adoptable. This is a great start, but we have a long way to go.

We’re not alone in recognizing this effort. The Miami Herald reports that Florida leads the nation in finding permanent homes for abused and neglected children.

Washington has recognized the work of what has become a model program, too. Reporter Carol Marbin Miller writes that Florida child-welfare administrators have received nearly $10 million in federal aid for Florida’s adoption program.

“For the second year in a row, the Department of Children & Families has led the nation — by a wide margin — in the number of children successfully adopted from foster care,” Miller writes. “For their efforts, DCF will receive a hefty bonus that can be used to boost next year’s adoption program.” Read More…

It’s Time to Create a Florida Statewide Office of the Children’s Advocate

August 4th, 2009   No Comments   Foster Care, News & Events

This profile of Florida child advocate attorney Howard Talenfeld appeared in the August 2009 issue of Florida Bar News.

By Jan Pudlow
Senior Editor

Howard Talenfeld, the new chair of The Florida Bar’s Legal Needs of Children Committee, is on a mission to make a seven-year-old dream come true.

In 2002, the Number One priority and unanimous recommendation of the committee’s predecessor, the Legal Needs of Children Commission, was to create a Statewide Office of the Children’s Advocate, to oversee both legal attorney-client and guardian ad litem representation to children in court.

Howard Talenfeld For three years, that original hardworking group of Florida lawyers, judges, and experts on children’s issues, chaired by 11th Circuit Judge Sandy Karlan, wrestled with how best to represent children in court — whether in dependency, delinquency, civil, probate and guardianship, domestic violence, or high-conflict custody proceedings.

In the end, they envisioned the new office would play a critical role in providing a voice for children so they can meaningfully present their positions and needs and wishes to the court. (more…)

Talenfeld to Chair Florida Bar Legal Needs of Children Committee

May 11th, 2009   No Comments   News & Events

Children’s rights attorney Howard Talenfeld has been appointed to chair the Florida Bar Association’s Legal Needs of Children Committee.


Talenfeld to chair Florida Bar Legal Needs of Children Committee

“I set out to appoint the best-qualified people for the job, taking into account their participation in the past, diversity and commitment to the committee,” Jesse Diner, President-Elect of the Florida Bar, said in making the announcement of new committee chairs.

“I am excited about being named to chair this vital committee,” Talenfeld said. “We have a critical mission that needs to be completed—obtaining quality representation for every child in the foster care system. With some of the best child advocates in the state on this committee, we have the opportunity to succeed over the next year.”

Talenfeld is a long-time advocate and pioneer in the fight to protect the rights and needs of society’s most vulnerable citizens, including foster children, the developmentally disabled and the mentally ill. (more…)